President Donald Trump passed a law on Sunday authorising the US sanctions to be inflicted on Chinese officials in case of the latter interfering with the selection process of the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan Buddhists, AFP reported.
The Tibetan Policy and Support Act got substantial response in the US Congress in the midst of mounting concerns about the 85-year-old current Dalai Lama’s successor being handpicked by Beijing, and simultaneously an important cause for greater freedom struggle in the Buddhist region in the Himalayas disappearing in the hands of the CCP-controlled narrative in the absence of the characteristic religious figurehead.
The Act, passed by a margin of 392-22, and claimed by China that it "grossly interferes in China's internal affairs", states it to be US policy to oversee that the selection, education, and veneration of the Dalai Lama are conducted as "exclusively spiritual matters that should be made by the appropriate religious authorities within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition”.
Furthermore, the Act states that sanctions will be imposed upon officials of the Chinese government who “directly interfere with the identification and installation of the future 15th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism”, as reported by AFP.
The legal provision also prevents US from opening any further consulates in China until it is allowed one in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.
The current Dalai Lama has slowed down his busy travel schedule in recent years, but is still aware of Beijing’s possible attempts to elect as Dalai Lama its own appointed successor.
China, in 1995, elected one of its own citizens as Panchen Lama, another important personality in the Tibetan population, and detained a six-year-old recognised at the time as the next Dalai Lama, with rights groups terming him the world’s youngest political prisoner.